Last year's CNET Editors' Choice award winner Kaspersky returns with another winner. Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 features a new interface and new protection. But, unlike last year, the competition for Editors' Choice in this space was fierce with several worthy contenders all bunching toward the top of the scale. For example, BitDefender Antivirus 2008 is perhaps the most improved product of the year, nipping at the heals of Kaspersky. What makes Kaspersky Anti-Virus continue to outshine its competition is its ease of use combined with thorough antivirus protection. No firewall, no gimmicks, just straight AV protection. Kaspersky also makes an Internet security suite, yet Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 feels complete as a standalone product and not, like Norton Antivirus 2008, a cog in larger family of products. That said, there is no firewall protection within Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2008, leaving you to choose your own firewall protection. Once again, Kaspersky requires considerably less disk space than Norton. The only real negative here is the list price, which can be $10 to $20 more than the competition, depending where you purchase it. Still, Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 provides the most complete antivirus production on the market today and deserves our Editors' Choice for best antivirus product for 2008. For a look inside, see our slide show.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 costs $59.95 for a single license and $69.95 for a three-user license. By comparison, Norton Antivirus 2008 costs $39.95 for a single-user license (there are no three-user versions of NAV 2008). Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 runs on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista, where Norton Antivirus runs only on Windows XP and Windows Vista. Kaspersky requires 512 RAM and at least 50MB of hard drive space (Norton requires 300 MB of hard drive space). A full-function 30-day trial version of Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 is available.
We experienced no problems with several different installations during the month of August. After installation, the system requires a reboot for full protection.
Should you want to remove Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7, the product includes an uninstall option in the All Programs menu. Once we uninstalled the product and rebooted, we found no lingering evidence of Kaspersky remaining on our machine.
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 7 sports a cleaner, more sophisticated interface than last year's. We like it best among the 2008 antivirus applications we've seen. Immediately our eye was drawn to the red banner with text that told us our signature files were out of date. This is visually very effective and efficient, whereas a simple Fix It button to the side is not always informative. Also, unlike Norton's morbid, black border, we like the open, bright, and colorful interface of Kaspersky that is skinnable to suite your own tastes.